Judge Lamas was very professional & I appreciated how she explained things to us & was very thorough

Repeated clear expectation which was helpful

I thought the judge did an excellent job



Judge Carolina Lamas was appointed on February 3, 2014 by Governor Mark Dayton and elected in 2016. During her time on the Hennepin County Bench, Judge Lamas has earned a reputation as a thoughtful, fair and impartial judge. As a general jurisdiction judge, Judge Lamas has presided primarily over felony-level criminal trials during her time on the bench. Judge Lamas also served as a Treatment Court Judge from 2017 - 2020 presiding over Veterans Treatment Court and Mental Health Treatment Court. In addition, Judge Lamas handled all adult criminal competency related matters for the district during that time.


Judge Lamas is the Chair of the Hennepin County Bench’s Equal Justice Committee and is a representative to State Courts's Committee for Equality and Justice. Previously Judge Lamas served on the Hennepin Bench's Education Committee, Amnesty Day Planning Committee, represented the Fourth Judicial District in the Minnesota District Judges Association Board, and served on the Statewide Treatment Court Initiative.


As a fluent Spanish speaker, Judge Lamas performs bilingual and Spanish wedding ceremonies and was previously featured in the free Valentines Day wedding event.




Before Appointment:


Prior to her appointment to the bench, Judge Carolina Lamas served as the Executive Director and Chief Attorney for the Neighborhood Justice Center, Inc., where she managed the community-based non-profit while representing low-income persons charged with felonies, misdemeanors and probation violations. Previously, she was a Public Defender in Minnesota’s Second Judicial District. Judge Lamas earned her B.A. from the University of Minnesota and her J.D. from the University of Minnesota School of Law. Additionally, Judge Lamas served as the Vice President of the American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota and is a former President of the Minnesota Hispanic Bar Association.





Judge Lamas is married and lives in Hennepin County with her husband, Cullin J. Smith, and their son (and two cats). Judge Lamas has lived in the Twin Cities for over 35 years and in Hennepin County for over 25 years.





Born in Lima, Peru, Judge Lamas has spent most of her life in the Twin Cities. Judge Lamas went to elementary school in Bloomington public schools and moved to Burnsville prior to 6th grade where she attended William Byrne Elementary, Metcalf Junior High and graduated from Burnsville High School.